Ties face US midterm poll test

By Li Qingsi
0 CommentsPrint E-mail China Daily, November 2, 2010
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The United States midterm election will be held on Tuesday, Nov 2, which traditionally is a test of the incumbent government's performance in its first two years in office. This time, the ruling Democratic Party may lose control of one or both houses of Congress (House of Representatives and Senate), because its political achievements are far from impressive.

The existing situation in the US does not augur well for the Democrats, who "suffered from an inherent misfortune", because they assumed power from the Republicans during the global financial crisis. Though the Barack Obama administration has employed all its skill to overcome the crisis - by trying to increase employment and boost consumption (it even printed several hundred billion dollars of banknotes) - it has not succeeded. Perhaps the reason is that the US' economic problems have accumulated over the years and cannot be solved overnight.

It seems that Obama, who won the presidential election by opposing the Iraq War, vowing to bring about change and listen to ordinary Americans' voices, has failed to make good on his promises.

The Democrats blame former US president George W. Bush's policy on the Iraq War for the mess. But the Democrats did not reduce the Iraq War funds even after getting control of both houses of Congress. Irresponsible expenditure, astronomical salaries of some Wall Street CEOs and the high unemployment rate have forced millions of people to lose their retirement benefits as well as their hope. They have undermined Obama's contribution to promote healthcare reform, too.

The rising influence of the Tea Party movement, which emerged through a series of spontaneously coordinated protests, reflects the right turn the US is taking. Americans, in general, think the state is walking on the wrong track and hence they have lost trust in the government.

Thus, Nov 2 is not likely to be a good day for the Democrats. According to a poll conducted by realclearpolitics.com and the opinion of almost all analysts, the Republicans are likely to win the majority of seats in the House of Representatives. At present, they are ensured of 214 seats, while the Democrats hold only 179. And the fight for the rest of the 42 seats, 40 of which are now held by the Democrats, is hot.

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